Baylor University Poage Library

About the Collection

This Lyndon B. Johnson collection was begun in 1973 for the purpose of assembling archives and artifacts that represented the private and public achievements of our 36th president. The LBJ collection includes items from Johnson's years as a student at Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos. His first position was in Washington as secretary to Richard M. Kleberg, congressman representing Texas' 14th District. In July 1935, Johnson was appointed director of the Texas National Youth Administration. In April 1937, he won election to represent Texas' 10th congressional District.

In 1941, he ran against Texas Governor Pappy O'Daniel for the U.S. Senate, but lost. In 1942 Johnson served as a Naval Officer and was awarded the silver star by General MacArthur. In 1943, Johnson returned to congress. In 1948, he was elected a senator. He was re-elected in 1954. In 1956, he ran as a favorite son candidate for president, but lost the nomination to Adlai Stevenson.

1960 was a busy year for Johnson. Before Kennedy chose Johnson for his vice president, Johnson was going to run for president and senator. Johnson because our 36th president on November 23, 1963 when Kennedy was killed in Dallas. Johnson won re-election by a wide margin in 1964. He retired to his ranch in 1969 and died there on January 22, 1973.

The collection's materials came from archives kept by members of his staff and others in his close circle. The collection also contains campaign items from most of his campaigns. Johnson gave token gifts to his supporters. Many examples are included. This Collection is unique in the political items hobby area for its breath of coverage and historical value. This collection is an appropriate addition to the W. R. Poage Legislative Library where scholars of Texas political history can find materials that will aid in their research.

George Meyer, March 2009